My idea with a recipe review is not only to go assess a gajillion recipes for something I want to make, pick what I hope will be the best one, and then let you know how it turned out, but to also push myself to try things that, frankly, seem like a pain in the ass (e.g. homemade pita bread): enter kimchi. Kimchi is to Korean meals what bread is to American meals. It’s on the table, you’re going to eat it. However, unlike the ubiquitous, often recycled, loaf of bread on the table in US eateries, kimchi is good for you, and pretty damn interesting.
Fermented foods are incredibly good for your gut, just listen to Dr. Mercola. And kimchi happens to be my favorite fermented food. I will say, if you haven’t had kimchi, it’s spicy as all get out. But, the great thing about making it yourself if that you can control the heat level. I think my first batch, pictured here, is probably low heat compared to traditional kimchi, but high heat for the average American tongue.
The kimchi recipe I chose was from The Simple Veganista, found here. I liked it for a few reasons: I’ve used her recipes before with success, this recipe is already vegan (traditional kimchi has fish sauce in it), and the spice paste had a sweet element (an apple in her case). My favorite kimchi ever was from a Korean food truck based in the Tampa Bay Area, called MmmBap, and it had a distinctly sweet counterpart to the hot-hot heat of traditional kimchi.
I’m happy to say this recipe was super easy to make and turned out amazingly well. I am here to tell you that kimchi is not nearly as difficult to make as you think, and if you’re remotely interested in fermented foods, this is a great and easy place to start.
Two recipe notes: I used a very ripe pear instead of an apple, and please check her notes about using salt with iodine, it is important.